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Message from the Poet, Shizue Ogawa


     I am deeply grateful for the cross-cultural collaborative effort that took place in Japan and the U.S. in producing this CD A Soul at Play ― Voices from Three Continents in three languages: Japanese, English, and French.
     In 2005, at Belgium's International Biennial of Poetry, I met Alice-Catherine Carls, a native of France, who teaches History at the University of Tennessee at Martin. For over ten years, our friendship has deepened. Professor Carls has a refined understanding of my poetry. Her devotion to my poems was a gift that made the production of this CD possible.
     Anna Clark ― also from the University of Tennessee at Martin ― recited the poetry in English. For many years, Professor Clark has read my poems with her students, which has inspired them to understand Japanese culture.     
     I am also immensely grateful to Elaine Atkins Harriss ― from the same university ― for playing the piano pieces for the CD. Professor Harriss read the selected poems, and also chose the music pieces. The beautiful pieces performed on a Steinway & Sons piano helped unify all three languages ― in the same way a rainbow unifies colors.
     Had it not been for the contribution made by many individuals from the University of Tennessee at Martin, this project ― which transcends continents ― would not have been completed. 
     Our desire to promote peace in this world has resulted in the creation of this CD A Soul at Play ― Voices from Three Continents. I hope that it will be loved by people from around the world.